Aspiring novelists are packing coffee shops in the Twin Cities and elsewhere as the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month heats up, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Founded roughly a decade ago, “Nanowrimo” challenges writers to conquer procrastination and get 50,000 words down during November. The emphasis, say the organizers, is on quantity, not quality—there’s always time to edit once the month ends.
“Writing is such a solitary art, and Nanowrimo makes it a sport that you can do with a team,” says one participant. The word count requires would-be authors to average 1,667 words a day, but for some the number isn’t the hard part: “I really go into it intending to have a lot of violence, but I have hard time hurting my characters,” said one writer.